I recently tagged my good friend, Lee Graham, in the Next Best Thing Blog Hop. Lee is the author of The Herald of Justice which is the first book in his series The Heroes of Niph. He writes in the genre of fantasy and science fiction. Lee is an all round great guy, one of my best friends and a fantastic author not to be missed. Please check out the blurb and reviews of his first book, The Herald of Justice at http://www.amazon.com/THE-HERALD-OF-JUSTICE-ebook/dp/B0079VM0BU/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1357346271&sr=1-1&keywords=herald+of+justice.
To learn more about the second book in The Heroes of Niph series please check out his answers to the blog hop questions below.
The Next Big Thing by Lee Graham
1. What is the working title of your book?
I am about a quarter of the way through this book and do not have a title for it yet. I don’t like to pick something for the sake of having a name that will not stick in all likelihood. The direction of the book constantly changes as I think and write, and I don’t want to lock myself into a title that might not be relevant later. It is the sequel to my first book, The Herald of Justice. I did not have a final title for that one until it was finished (The original name was “Veritas”), and it looks as though this one is going to be more of the same. Like, HOJ, which was named after Aaron, the main character, my thought right now is to name this one after an important female character that is going to be introduced toward the beginning of this one.
2. Where did the idea come from for the book?
Aaron, the main character from the Herald of Justice, had been stewing in mind and evolving for years. I knew that when I finally put pen to paper that the story (at least a part of it) would revolve around him. I wanted him to be larger than life and powerful, but have flaws and inner demons that he needed to constantly struggle with. The idea was that there would be no enemy that he could not overcome, other than the one in his head. He has the power to bring down a kingdom, but due to his terrible manic depression, he cannot manage to maintain a relationship with the person that he loves.
Since I knew that I wanted to write a fantasy, I built a story around Aaron and his troubles, and tried to incorporate some things that I am familiar with in my own life, like criminal law and police procedure.
3. What genre does your book fall under?
While it falls into the fantasy genre, one of the main themes follows the trial and tribulation of the relationship between two of the main characters, Aaron and Sarah. They love each other madly, but because of Aaron’s manic depression, which manifests itself through the Demon Alaset, he becomes toxic to her and she flees from him in order to save herself. Part of the story is the two of them trying to find their way back to each other while attempting to save their world. I tried to write a love story in a fantasy setting, with a dose of legal procedure included. I know that a lot of people do not read fantasy, but I think that this might appeal to others as well.
4. Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
This is difficult for me to answer as I could not be less interested in any of the news coming out of Hollywood and am not familiar with the newest stars and starlets. I try and visualize my scenes as I write them, but have never pictured any particular actor as one of the characters. That being said, since you asked, Sarah has almond shaped eyes and I thought of her as part Asian and really beautiful. I would pick someone like Margaret Quigley, who was in Mission Impossible III, Live Free or Die Hard and others.
As for Aaron, he needs to be portrayed as dark, brooding, heroic and handsome. Being that this is my book, the ideal person to play the leading man, provided that he took acting lessons, got in really good shape and grew out his hair would be me of course!
5. What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
This is hard to do with a series planned to be around four books with lots of characters and storylines. But I think that something like, “The line between good and evil, right and wrong is very grey, thin and fragile, and depends on one’s perspective.” Each story line has something where this would apply.
6. Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
The Herald of Justice was self-published through Authorhouse in January, 2012. My intent is to do the same with the sequel later this year, unless something unforeseen happens prior to that. I found that trying to find an agency was a miserable experience, and that the publishing business really seems to be trending toward self-publishing anyway. It is a pretty simple matter to self-publish nowadays with all of the different companies offering their services to new authors.
7. How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
I wrote the first draft of the Herald of Justice over the course of one year on a part-time basis. It took me the better part of another year to re-write it and get it ready for printing. I have been working on the sequel for the last couple of months, and am about a quarter of way through it. My intent is to have this one finished this year.
8. What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
I purposefully tried to write something different than anything else that I have read in the fantasy genre as I thought that the typical storyline was getting old and worn. While the Herald of Justice and the sequel do take place in a fantasy setting, and there are dragons and magicians and magic, I try and address other, more real life issues, life mental health disease and relationship problems.
9. Who or what inspired you to write this book?
My inspiration was going into different bookstores over the years, looking at the books on the shelves and wanting to see my name on a novel for someone else to read. I always thought that, “If they can do it, so can I.” I had plenty of ideas in my head, but found that the hardest thing to do was to put the first word onto the paper. My good friend Bev Prescott and I started meeting about our respective books, and she kept me motivated and moving forward until the draft was done.
10. What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
While I love reading a book and being transported to a new world where I can forget about my troubles, I don’t enjoy reading something that is completely unbelievable. Everyone has problems. While someone might not find dragons and magic enjoyable, I think that everyone can understand that being in love and in a relationship is not easy, and that it is very difficult dealing with mental health issues. Many of the comments I have received about the Herald of Justice are from people who have never read fantasy before, but they appreciated the “real life” issues that the characters were forced to deal with.